The year 2019 had been great for Test Cricket. After the completion of the ODI World Cup in England, all the teams shifted their focus back on the longest format of the game.
Overall, different nations have played 78 Tests this year. Some players failed to impress while some successfully dominate the game by their scintillating performances. However, it’s still not that easy to pick the best amongst all. But thanks to eminent commentator Harsha Bhogle who came forward and pulled his Test XI of the year on Cricbuzz.
For the openers, Harsha went for India’s Mayank Agarwal and New Zealand’s Tom Latham. Both Mayank and Latham had an excellent 2019. Where the Karnataka born cricketer scored the maximum number of runs by any Indian player (754) in this year, the Kiwi batter, on the other hand, became the second Blackcaps player to score most runs (601) in 2019.
Marnus Labuschagne, who is the only player to score 1000-plus runs this year, bats at No.3 in Harsha’s Test XI. South Africa born Aussie batsman amassed 1104 runs in 2019.
Harsha has picked the top two batsmen of ICC Test rankings, Steve Smith and Virat Kohli, for the middle order. The duo has clubbed 1577 Test runs this year.
BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year’, Ben Stokes found the place in Harsha’s team as the only all-rounder while BJ Watling has been picked in the form of a wicket-keeper. Stokes has clubbed 821 runs, whereas Watling bagged 559 runs this year.
Among bowlers, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Neil Wagner have been given the responsibility of fast bowling. The trio combined to 144 wickets in 2019.
Harsha picked Australia’s Nathan Lyon as the lone spinner. Lyon has grabbed the maximum number of wickets (45) this year after his countryman Pat Cummins (59).
This may be debatable that Harsha didn’t pick India’s leading wicket-taker of 2019, Mohammed Shami. In eight matches, the right-armer took 33 wickets with an average of 16.66. Shami sits at sixth place in the highest wicket-takers of 2019.
Here’s Harsha Bhogle’s Test XI of the year 2019:
Mayank Agarwal, Tom Latham, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, Ben Stokes, BJ Watling, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Neil Wagner, Nathan Lyon.